How to Combat Examination Fear: A Webinar by St Agnes College & Mangala Alumni Association
Mangaluru: Under the aegis of St Agnes College (Autonomous), Mangaluru and Mangala Alumni Association(MAA)®, Mangalore University, Mangalagangotri, a webinar was organized for PUC, UG and PG students on 9 June 2020 on the topic “How to Combat Examination Fear”.
Dr Shwetha K T, Psychologist and Director of Anirveda Resource Centre for Psychological Wellbeing, Mangalore, was the resource speaker.
Dr Devi Prabha Alva, Associate Professor of Commerce, who is the Vice President of MAA and the Convenor of the webinar, gave the welcome and introductory remarks where she noted the devastating impact that an unprecedented crisis of the covid-19 pandemic has had on everyone. Schools and colleges have been closed down and most of the examinations remain postponed for an indefinite period. Students are in the dilemma of how to make preparations for their examinations. They are undergoing stress, anxiety and fear of facing exams during these tough days of the pandemic. Therefore, as a corollary, the organisers of this webinar have decided to create an online platform where the student community across the world can seek solace for their anxiety and learn some systematic approaches to overcome the fear of examinations.
Dr Shwetha K T addressed the students through Google Meet and brought out the various aspects of examination fear & anxiety. She explained that exam anxiety is the experience of feeling an intense moment of fear or panic before and/or during an exam or assessment. A little nervousness before an exam is normal and such anxiety can affect anyone. The symptoms of exam anxiety can be broadly categorized as: Cognitive Symptoms (racing thoughts, self-comparison to others, difficulty concentrating, blanking out, negative thoughts of past performances), Emotional Symptoms (fear, anger, feeling helpless, guilt, shame, disappointment) and Physical Symptoms (nausea, racing heart, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, dry mouth, tense muscles). Exam anxiety can be caused of due to various reasons such as past history of not doing well, inadequate preparation for exams, fear of social evaluation, negative attribution to subjects, negative thought ruminations, setting unrealistic expectations, poor self management and circumstantial factors, she said.
The resource speaker guided the students on how to combat the fear of exams by asking them to set up realistic goals of their studies. She advised students to work on study habits, draft a routine time table for study with suitable timings for leisure and breaks, and to follow a systematic style of learning. She counselled students to work on their negative thoughts by identifying the source of negative thought content, tracking the frequency and intensity of thoughts and their impact on the students’ productivity. She taught the participants some relaxation strategies to overcome exam fear and anxiety. She pointed out that students should not compromise on good eating habits, sleep/rest and daily exercises.
Dr Shwetha instructed the students on the various dos and don’ts to be practised on the day of examination, during the examination and after the examination. She also gave specific guidance on when to consult a professional psychologist/counselor for help. The presentation concluded with the resource speaker taking and answering a series of questions raised by students.
The webinar had an astounding response with 1276 students from various countries registering for it. YouTube Live streaming was also enabled for those students who could not get access through Google Meet.
Mrs Sabina Dsouza, HOD of BBA and organizing secretary of the webinar delivered the vote of thanks. This webinar was sponsored by the UGC Paramarsh Scheme.